An equipping ministry to Disciple the Church.
A mission base to Send the Church.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
The Gospel of John is the most Christological and Spiritual of all the Gospels.
The Gospel of John is not concerned with the chronological history of earthly happenings; no it is concerned with spiritual revelation with a living Jesus at the center.
John was led by the Spirit and knew that the history of living Christianity was staked on the church being "spiritual" and not "carnal"
He had written the book of Revelations and knew of the predilection of the church to fade into - beyond biblical ritual, over intellectualized theologies, a proving of spirituality by emotionalism, and tendency to look to the world for method in accomplishing kingdom things.
Thus Clement of Alexandria stated, “Last of all, John, perceiving that the external facts had been made plain [in the other canonical Gospels] … composed a spiritual gospel” (cited in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.14.7).
T. Austin Sparks says:
"John" is not an earthly history; it is a spiritual history; related to heaven and not merely to earth; to eternity, and not merely to time.
"John" is in the same realm as "Ephesians".
It's a spiritual Gospel written at the end of the first century by the apostle John around 90-100 AD.
The gospel purposely shows the contrast of ways of viewing things - spiritual and natural.
1) Jesus shows Nicodemus that his kingdom is a spiritual kingdom that must be entered spiritually. But he is confused about natural birth.
2) The Woman at the Well is told that she needs "Living Water" but she keeps looking down the natural well.
3) The crowds are told to eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have life in chapter 6. They stumble over the thought of natural cannibalism.
Similarly, Paul reveals in 1 Corinthians 2 & 3 that the whole struggle with the troubled Corinthian church is that they are carnal, fleshly, soul-dominated believers who are not spiritual people.
The core of the problems within the church today are caused by sincere yet soulish men and their ideas trying to run what is to be a spiritual church.
Why does the church spend, build, committee, theologize, and manifest over indulgently - simply because it is not very spiritual.
From Genesis on we see the Lord trying to reveal that there are two options for all mankind:
A spiritual one ruled by the Holy Spirit that sees reality and rules in the natural realm by the Spirit, or
A natural one that is ruled by natural abilities and ends up quenching the Spirit.
Beloved there is the option of
- 2 Trees (Tree of Life or Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil)
- 2 Women (Sarah or Hagar)
- 2 Sons (Isaac or Ishmael)
John starts with that concern in the first 5 verses of this Gospel;
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
His concern is that they source from Jesus the mediator of the Life of God via salvation and the Holy Spirit.
His concern is that they resist the "carnalizing" of the church and our personal life that can slowly begin to take root if we do not labor to stay spiritual.
I tell you that one of the most if not the most damaging things in the church today is "organizations of men" that Christianize human beings without making them spiritual disciples who are on mission multiplying life and light everywhere in the culture.
May the Lord make us spiritual disciples who form spiritual churches everywhere filling all of culture with the Spirit of God.